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Rush - Clockwork Angels Tour CD (album) cover

CLOCKWORK ANGELS TOUR

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.02 | 83 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars This Rush live CD is identical in musical content to the DVD released under the same title "Clockwork Angels Tour". The set lists are in 3 parts generally opening with an 80s set nicely pitched within Geddy Lee's vocal range. It feels a bit like a reimagining of the live "A Show of Hands" set and is almost identical in the first half. There is very little from any of the 70s back catalogue that many would argue is the best Rush era so it is a risk to ignore the classic 70s. Personally I think it is nice to hear some different songs for a change though I missed Bytor and the Snow Dog, La Villa Strangiata, Xanadu and especially Working Man. The reworking of all the 80s songs are better than the studio versions, much heavier and better production, not as tinny as the retro 80s versions, so the CD grabbed my interest from the first strains of Subdivisions. Alex Lifeson's lead breaks are fantastic, and at times very different to the studio versions. Neil Peart has no less than 3 extended drum solos on this concert. Geddy is wonderful on bass and especially the synths on this concert.

Set One consists of Subdivisions from "Signals", and from "Power Windows" The Big Money, Territories, and Grand Designs, one of the only tracks not on "A Show of Hands". Rush revisit "Hold Your Fire" with Force Ten, and "Grace Under Pressure" with The Body Electric, featuring those memorable lyrics "One humanoid escapee, One android on the run, Seeking freedom beneath a lonely desert sun". Then the band rock out with The Analog Kid from "Signals" that I always love to hear. Another one from "Roll The Bones" is next, the bittersweet beauty of Bravado with potent lyrics sung so meaningfully here "If we burn our wings, Flying too close to the sun, If the moment of glory Is over before its begun". The best track on this Set is perhaps Far Cry from "Snakes And Arrows" sounding vibrant and electrifying on the live stage, though it must be seen to really appreciate it as the flames and spectrum lights are mesmirising.

Disk Two is Set Two which is the Clockwork Angels Set with 9 tracks featured; Caravan, Clockwork Angels, The Anarchist, Carnies, The Wreckers, Headlong Flight, Halo Effect, Seven Cities of Gold, Wish Them Well, The Garden, and a drum solo thrown in for good measure. It is a powerhouse performance and definitely worth hearing or even viewing on the DVD, the best way to experience it, especially to watch the amazing light show and Steampunk décor of the stage. The Clockwork Angels String Ensemble add much to the songs and enhance each track with Cello and Violins eloquently adding ambience and dramatic nuances. Peart's drum solo Drumbastica is spine tingling with all the trimmings of his usual awesome speed drumming.

CD 3 is a collection of crowd pleasers and oddities including Dreamline from "Roll the Bones", and The Percussor (I) Binary Love Theme (II) Steambanger s Ball (drum solo), another Peart moment, with weird effects and sound clashes. The band reappear to crank out Red Sector A from "Grace Under Pressure", a brilliant version of YYZ from "Moving Pictures", and fret melting fingering on Spirit of Radio from "Permanent Waves". The encore consists of a grand version of classic rush with Tom Sawyer, and then we are treated to the brilliant crunching irregular chords of 2112. This is the end of the concert but the CD features the same bonus tracks as on the DVD, namely a fascinating soundcheck recording of Limelight, virtually a karaoke version with Lee missing most lyrics out in the rehearsal. Middletown Dreams, from "Power Windows", is next, then The Pass from "Presto", and finally Manhattan Project, a better version than the one from "Power Windows".

Admittedly this CD cannot beat the DVD experience as it adds so much when you can actually relive the band onstage goofing around and enjoying themselves with an appreciative crowd and some mind bending lighting effects. However this CD package is great on its own steam(punk), clock(work)ing over 3 hours of live music, so it comes highly recommended for Rushaholics and Heavy Prog lovers worldwide.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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